FIFA boss Joseph Blatter on Thursday submitted his candidature for a fifth term as president of world football's governing body.
"Today (Thursday) is a key date in the electoral calendar. I've made
my submission, now the electoral committee follow a process," the
78-year-old Swiss wrote on his Twitter account.
The deadline for nominees to announce their candidacies falls at midnight on Thursday.
Blatter, who has held the post since 1998, had already indicated his
intention to seek another term, and has wide support in Asia, Africa and
Among his challengers are former Portugal and Real Madrid winger Luis
Figo, Dutch football boss Michael Van Praag, Asian Football
Confederation vice-president Prince Ali bin Al Hussein, ex-FIFA
executive Jerome Champagne and former France winger David Ginola.
"It's very difficult to beat Blatter, I know, but I think the world
of football is with me," said Ginola, 47, who is being £250 000 by
betting company Paddy Power to throw his hat into the ring.
Ginola said the challengers were looking for "more democracy and more transparency" in football's world governing body.
"It can't be that football is the most popular sport, but the most
inaccessible politically speaking," Ginola told Spanish sports daily
Candidates must have played an active role in football administration
for two of the past five years and be publicly nominated by five of
FIFA's 209 member associations.
Blatter's reign has been tarnished by accusations of corruption
stemming from the bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups,
which were awarded to Russia and Qatar respectively.
Although the deadline is on Thursday, FIFA official Domenico Scala
said it could take time before the names of the candidates are revealed.
"We cannot make a statement at the time of the date limit," said Scala, president of FIFA's Audit and Compliance Committee.
"A certain time will be needed before the ad hoc electoral commission are in a position to announce the candidates."
The election will take place in Zurich on May 29.